- How well have you standardized your processes and how do you follow up that your organization is really following them?
- How much “waste”, no value adding activities, do you have in your sourcing processes?
- Are you in a need of more resources? How can you make your processes more efficient and stay with your current number of employees?

Sourcing Processes
Most companies have processes in place but several companies just have them to follow third part certifications (e.g. ISO standards, etc.). To maximize the potential of an organization and being able to create efficiencies, the processes must be standardized, followed and measured.

A challenge many companies have is that their resources have high workload and does not have time to focus on all needed activities. Often the solution to such challenge is to hire more resources but this might not always be the best way. In growing organizations there should be room for efficiency savings, especially in the working processes. Any company that would like to become more efficient could follow the following steps:

1. Set targets of what you want to achieve. The targets should be tough in order to challenge creative thinking

2. Map the as is processes in a flow, map what activities are done in each step and the time for each activity

3. Define who the customer is for the process and what value the process should deliver to the customer

4. Go through all activities and categorize them in three different categories:

a. Adds value to the customer

b. Does not add any value

c. Does not add any direct value to the customer but necessary to perform

5. Measure the value add activities vs. the total time of the process

6. Define a wanted position of the process with minimum no value add actives i.e. reduced waste

7. Brainstorm and define how you can reach wanted position in order to reach your target

8. Implement directly the new way of working. Don’t wait!

9. Measure and follow up continuously

It is surprising to see how much efficiency saving that could be done by these simple steps and the time spent for such analysis is usually well invested.

Common pitfalls

- The processes are not standardized. It is difficult to make a process more efficient before it is standardized

- The process is not followed up. If the process is not followed up you don’t know how standardized it is in your organization, that everybody are working according to the same process

- There is only a sourcing process for the operational procurement activities. To maximize efficiency it is important to have standard processes for any repetitive process

- Too many activities are defined as “no value add but necessary”. Make sure you challenge those activities and try to push them into “value add” or “no value add”

- The customer of the process is not defined. If you don’t know the customer of your process it is a warning signal that the process is either not adding any value or not followed in an efficient way. You need to know who the customer is for your process in order to start mapping “waste”, no value add activities in the process.